How to Cancel Plans Without Looking Like a Total Flake

Even the best schedulers need to cancel plans at some point. Use these tips for canceling plans gracefully without seeming like a flake.

May 19, 2016
By: Amanda Mushro

When you made those plans last week to go to dinner and a movie with your friends, it sounded like the best idea ever. But now that you have to actually leave your house after a very long day, those plans with your friends sound, well, sort of miserable. No one wants to be the person that flakes when you've agreed to plans, but sometimes an unexpected event throws off your plans...or you'd simply prefer to lay on the couch and catch up with TV. So how do you cancel plans without offending the other person? Use these five no-fail tips.

1. Cancel early

If you have dinner reservations at 7:00 and you look and it's already 6:30, canceling now probably isn't going to go over well. If you have plans with others but you know it's not going to happen, give them the courtesy of canceling as early as possible.

2. Offer an alternative

If you don't think you can drag yourself out to a fancy party with your pals tonight, why not suggest something a little easier. How about a quick bite to eat or a movie you both want to see?

3. Reschedule

The person you have plans with will less likely be peeved by your canceled plans if you offer a rain check. Simply saying "We'll together soon," can seem insincere, but offering to get together the next day or later that week will take the sting out of the cancelled plans.

4. Be honest and sincere

It may be tempting to add embellished details as to why you are canceling plans, but giving a sincere apology for canceling and explaining why you need to bail will mean a lot more to your friends than adding on extra details to make your cancelations sound more convincing. If you're too tired to go out, just say it.

5. Just go

Unless it's an absolute emergency, sometimes canceling just isn't an option. If it's your friend's birthday dinner or a pal you've canceled on before, it's best to just go and keep your plans. Getting out the door is the hardest part, but once you're out, you'll probably be happy you didn't break those plans.

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